Wednesday, August 31, 2005

First day of school

Sorry for the long break between posts. Between the last post and this one, I schlepped all my stuff up to Austin, dropped $550 at the university bookstore for new books (no used ones available anywhere, unfortunately), attended "orientation" for the journal I'm working on, and had my first day of class. It's been a busy past few days.

The drive back to Austin was not too bad. I didn't speed excessively, but still got to town on 290 in about 2.5 hours, when it usually takes me around 3. And it hadn't gotten too terribly hot, either, so making the trips back and forth from apartment to car to move all my stuff in was not the chore I thought it would be. I still haven't put everything properly away yet, especially all my knitting yarn, but I have more or less fallen back into life at this apartment.

(And why haven't I put away all my yarn, you may ask? Because I have SO MUCH OF IT already here at the apartment! I haven't had time to organize it all. My stash has certainly grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.)

"Orientation" for the journal was okay. There wasn't anything terribly substantive presented, so there's not a lot to say about it, although it does seem like it will be a lot of work over the next year. I think it will take up a lot of evenings and/or weekends.

As for the first day . . .

Classes were fine, and I think that I will really enjoy what I'm learning this semester. The professors all seem great, as I had generally hoped and expected. But . . .

. . . there were a few "little" annoyances that happened today that made the first day of school less than optimal for me. First of all, I missed my bus this morning, so I was late to class. All in all, that usually isn't such an earth-shattering thing, but this was not a case of just showing up a few minutes late and realizing that the bus had already come and gone. No, this was a case of hauling four classes' worth of books (I estimate at least 30 pounds, if not more) to the bus stop, seeing the bus coming down the road, running (as best I could with a backpack and a shopping bag full of books) to get to the bus stop, and getting within 10 yards of the bus before it pulled away from the stop and LEFT ME BEHIND.

Needless to say, I was furious, sweating like crazy from the exertion, and gasping for breath. It was not a good way to start the day.

The second annoyance was having to tote all those books around ALL DAY LONG. My shoulders are still aching from it. Returning students could only renew locker subscriptions for the school year starting today, so I had nowhere at school to leave my books after buying them from the bookstore on Monday. And, since all of my classes met today, I had to carry all of the books to school this morning and around from class to class. It was awful. I feel all hunched over from carrying all that weight. And, unfortunately, I had expected to be able to get a locker today, but when I went by the Student Bar Association office, no one was there. So I am still hauling around a bunch of books. It's enough to make me howl.

These seem like little things, but they really affected my day, especially having to carry all the books around. My shoulders and neck have felt terrible all day, which is probably the main reason why the annoyances have made a greater impression on me than the classes. Anyway . . . tomorrow is another day, right? I'm sure that once I get more settled into a routine, get my locker, and figure out a good homework groove, I will be fine. But let's just say that this was not a great first day of school by any stretch of the imagination.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

One last dinner

Well, tonight GPG and I made hamburgers and grilled corn for my last dinner before I head back for my second year of law school. It was good, but it's a little depressing to think that this will be my last grilled food for a while. (I don't have a grill at school.)

Here is the corn we made, hot off the grill:

And here is GPG's hamburger. Doesn't it look nice and thick? We used 90% lean ground beef (ground sirloin, I think) and seasoned it with salt, pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and some all-purpose seasoning.

Here's a picture of GPG's hamburger from above:

And here's a picture of me enjoying my own hamburger. The hamburgers we make are usually so fat that I eat my tomatoes separately. On the righthand side you can see the schorle we like to drink. Schorle is a German drink that's about 10% apple juice and 90% sparkling water.

That's the last dinner before the second year of law school. Tomorrow I drive up to start getting ready for another semester.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Last night, GPG and I went to Rickshaw, on Westheimer between Buffalo Spdwy and Kirby, for one last dinner on Big Firm's nickel. We had never been there before, so when I got an invitation from a Big Firm attorney, I said yes for both of us. The verdict? Decent but overpriced sushi and entirely TOO LOUD a restaurant to have a really good meal.

The restaurant was very busy while we were there, so obviously, some people were big Rickshaw fans. Supposedly, people like the clubby kind of atmosphere (which basically entails dimmed lights, lots of mixed drinks, and loud 80s music, at least on Thursday nights). I can see how some people would enjoy eating in such a place; there were lots of "beautiful" people running around in trendy clothes with lots of hair product and make-up. But I wasn't very enthusiastic about the meal when I had to yell into my neighbor's ear so she could hear me. I think that there are separate clubs where people go dancing for a reason. You don't want to deafen yourself or shout yourself hoarse while you're trying to eat and have a good meal with your friends. Save that for the real clubs and bars, please.

And, on top of that, the sushi really didn't measure up to the price. The rolls, in particular, were very disappointing; you can go to Oishii on Richmond and Timmons and get much better rolls for a quarter of the price. Similarly, although the actual sushi fish itself was very nice at Rickshaw, you could go either to Oishii and get almost the same quality fish for half the price, or to Teppay at Westheimer and Voss and get much better sushi for about the same price.

I'd also add that you should probably beware of the desserts that include ice cream, because the ice cream (usually vanilla or coconut) seems to be flavored a little strangely (at least, that was the verdict among people at our table). Sort of perfume-y. (Perfume-flavored desserts must be the new trend.) However, Rickshaw does provide sorbet flavors (as well as ice cream) that you can order separately, and the sorbets were very good. I'd recommend their mango flavor.

The non-sushi food that some people at our table got was generally much tastier and probably more reasonably priced, although I honestly didn't check the non-sushi prices. If you're on your way to Rickshaw in the near future, I'd recommend ordering off the regular menu, rather than the sushi menu. I suspect that Rickshaw provides sushi because it's a good way, like mixed drinks, to make money off "beautiful" people who want to be trendy and hip by eating and drinking (expensive) trendy and hip things. As a result, sushi probably isn't really the best offering on the menu.

And, if you're not into the club scene, I'd recommend going on a day other than Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pictures galore!

Finally we have the last round of pictures before I head off to no-digital-camera land. I uploaded them to Blogger yesterday, but didn't get a chance to write anything about them because it was so late at night.

First up, we have a picture of me and the Chairwoman at the Taiwanese restaurant where she and I ate with LawSchoolKatie two weeks ago. Yes, I know the picture is somewhat dated. But I think that it's actually a nice photograph. You can see all the carnage remaining from our meal in front of us. LawSchoolKatie is taking the picture, so you can't see her. I have another picture of all three of us together, but I wasn't sure if she minded me posting her face up on the Internet or not. So she's not up here.

Next, we have a whole bunch of knitting pictures to show you some of the things I've finished or am working on. First are the "glittens" I made out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport yarn. I think the colorway is "Tuscany." Below are the glittens-as-mittens, palms facing up:

And below are the glittens-as-mittens, backs facing up. You can see the seams where I picked up stitches on the back of the hand to create the mitten flap:

And here is what they look like on my hands, as fingerless gloves. The top hand shows the palm and the bottom hand shows the back with the mitten flap. I still haven't added a loop to the top of the flap and a button to the wrist to secure the flap when I want to use my fingers.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I used the glove pattern in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns, but then winged the mitten flap based on instructions for the Broad Street glittens on Knitty. Why didn't I just use the Broad Street pattern, you might ask? Because, as Jessica of Fig and Plum notes, that pattern is for people with giganta-hands. Now I have something to keep my much smaller hands warm while I'm waiting for the bus in the winter! But I will still be able to remove the mitten flap and knit on the bus without taking off the whole glitten! I'm very happy about the prospect.

Below are some socks that I finished right before starting on the glittens. They are made out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway "Seaside" (I think). They are supposed to be a Christmas present for one of my friends, but I think it's safe to show them here. One, the recipient doesn't know who she is; and two, I don't think she knows about this blog, anyway.

And here's a picture of it on my foot:

I sort of cobbled the pattern together from my own memories of a sock pattern from a Vogue book that I left in my apartment at school and from certain portions (namely, the heel and the toe) of the Retro Rib Sock pattern from the Winter 2004 Interweave Knits.

As you may have surmised, there was a big sale on yarn a while ago where I got a lot of Lorna's Laces. I had never knit with LL before, and now I find that I generally like the yarn quite a lot, especially the sock yarn. I find Shepherd Sock much more tightly spun than other hand-dyed sock yarns, like Cherry Tree Hill, which makes it easier to work with, in my opinion. However, I must admit that I am not a fan of the pooling colors. The pooling effect is most apparent on the socks, where you can see the tan stripes, but you can also see it in the glittens, where there are some large sections of only orange and blue and other sections of only red and green.

I had hoped to avoid the pooling effect in my next pair of socks, which I'm making out of Shepherd Sock "Tahoe" (I think. I'm terrible at remembering the colorways because I bought the yarn so long ago. Really, the colors remind me of hydrangea flowers). I'm following the Retro Rib pattern, and I had hoped that the pattern of the ribbing would help break up the colors. But, as you can see below, there's still a bit of color-clustering going on.

Oh, well. That's the way the cookie crumbles. I haven't found a yarn that consistently doesn't pool yet; even Koigu sometimes pools.

Anyway, those are the pictures. Hopefully I'll be able to post some more every now and then during the semester!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hear all those teeth chattering? It's the sound of status.

Clerk the First told me that there's an article in today's Wall Street Journal that says that in some Asian countries, the temperature in a company's office building has become a symbol of status. I.e., the colder it is, the more prosperous the company must be. Apparently this is the case in all kinds of mega-metropolitan centers in Asia, like Taipei and Tokyo, where employees bundle up in company-logo sweaters to show not only their company loyalty but also their company's status. (The coldest temperatures in the coolest (both literally and figuratively) companies? SIXTY DEGREES!) I wonder if the Chairman's teeth chatter all day long at his new job.

In other news, the law school sleeplessness has begun for me. And school hasn't even started! Arg! At the beginning of every semester, I start sleeping more and more poorly because my mind gets wound up with all the things I have to think about and keep track of. I wake up before the alarm goes off because I start thinking about how I'm going to schedule my day to do all the things I need to do. This annoying habit, of course, goes away once I wear myself down a little, but it's irritating while it persists. I want sleep; I know I need sleep; but I can't sleep! It's frustrating. And it has started. Double arg!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I can still feel my teeth a little bit from yesterday's fillings. I can especially still feel where I got two shots of local anesthesia in my jaw. Bleah!

And did I also mention that it's SUPER HOT down here??? I've been wearing sleeveless shirts under my suit jacket this week because it's waaaay too hot to wear proper long-sleeve button-down shirts to work. I had to wait for the bus at 2 in the afternoon yesterday after visiting the dentist, and by the time I got on the bus (which was late), I was drenched with sweat. Ew. And today hasn't been much better, even though I went to work in the morning like usual, when it's supposed to be cooler. Great way to make friends at the courthouse, you know? I will definitely have to get my suit dry-cleaned before interviews this fall.

Not much else is going on at the moment; I'm just trying to make one last push to get this last opinion drafted for the Judge before the end of the week. And knitting. Pictures of "Retro Rib" socks from Interweave Knits to appear soon!

Monday, August 22, 2005

All filled in; and updates

Ugh. I went to the dentist today to get fillings, and it was altogether a disagreeable experience. Although I have a great dentist who does a good job, who really enoys getting fillings? No one, that's who. I got numbed up enough that I couldn't feel half my tongue and the side of my face for several hours, but not so numbed up that I couldn't feel the drill whirring away at my teeth. Bleah! It wasn't really painful, per se, but it was definitely unpleasant enough to remind me that it could have been excruciating without any local anesthesia. And, on top of that, the dentist was running behind schedule, so that it took an hour and forty minutes to do what should have taken an hour. Double bleah!

Anyway, here are some quick updates of things that have happened recently that I haven't had the presence of mind to blog about:

1. Princess Mononoke. GPG and I are currently seeking out Miyazaki films now that we've seen Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, and Kiki's Delivery Service. We rented Princess Mononoke last week and were a little disappointed. All of Miyazaki's films are definitely a cut above Disney films, or any other animated film (except maybe for Pixar's), but we definitely didn't enjoy Princess Mononoke as much as Spirited Away. Anyone who is interested in seeing Miyazaki films for the first time should definitely save Spirited Away for last, so as not to set yourself up for a little bit of disappointment when you see his other films. It's not that any of the other films are bad; rather, they're actually really well done, with nice animation and great stories that aren't sugar-coated, like Disney stories. But we haven't seen anything that really compares to Spirited Away yet.

2. Niko Niko's. GPG and I tried out this restaurant on Montrose on Saturday night. We'd heard good things about it, but frankly, we were disappointed. Perhaps we didn't order the right thing--we both got chicken dishes--but I looked at what different people were eating in the restaurant, and it didn't seem like they were all eating the same must-eat dish. The only thing that we thought was decent was the enormous salad that came with each entree (and even then, the salad from Cafe Lili was much better). The only thing that we thought was good was the pita bread, which was warm and seasoned with something yummy. The rest was very so-so. I ordered some kind of roast chicken, which came out very greasy; GPG ordered some kind of parmesan-covered chicken, which he said was greasy and old (as in, not very good meat). We won't try the place again unless someone recommends something specific as utterly spectacular.

3. Glitttens. The glittens are almost done! I only have to weave in the ends of one of the glittens before they're done. I am planning to post pictures of them, and of the socks I finished a while back, some time this week.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Well, so much for my big day in court; it turned out to be quite anticlimactic. The parties decided to settle for a small sum in attorneys' fees, so all the attorneys did before the court was report this development. But, I must note that, even in this limited interaction between the attorneys and the Judge, it was eminently clear to me that the attorneys in real life were just as their briefs led me believe: one side's attorney was competent and clear; the other side's attorney . . . was not. Um, to the contrary, he was somewhat overblown and pompous.

This summer has definitely opened my eyes quite a bit to the realities of law. On the one hand, it's easy to sympathize with small-fish plaintiffs, especially in cases where those who have power egregiously trample all over the rights--civil, contractual, or otherwise--of those who have none. Don't get me wrong here; those kinds of plaintiffs need, and indeed are entitled to, as much sympathy, legal acumen, and justice as the system can provide. But on the other hand, there are instances where the smallest fish can frivolously generate enormous and expensive amounts of work, both for the defendant and for the courts, with only a small amount of effort and cost. The insurance fraud case I observed today is just one example, and I've heard of many more while working here at the court and for the Big Firm. In attempting to address and rectify some of the many inequalities that exist in our society today (i.e., the small fish getting run over by the big fish), our system of justice has inequalities built into it that run the other way (i.e., the big fish getting hit by the small fish's lawsuit). I always knew this on an abstract level, and I have even argued with GPG about this many times before, but I've definitely gotten to see this concept played out in reality this summer.

My big day in court

Kind of. Today there will be a hearing for the case for which I wrote my first opinion for the Judge. (Hmm, that's a lot of "for"s in one sentence.) It should be exciting! I am interested in seeing what these people look like and how they present themselves before the court.

The hearing itself shouldn't be too big a deal; it will probably be a pre-discovery type of meeting to lay out what kind of depositions both sides want, what evidence they want produced, etc. And there is only one live issue remaining in the case, anyway--the other two issues got dismissed in the opinion I wrote.

But I'm interested in listening to what the attorneys have to say because . . . well, let's just say that the contrast in the quality of the briefing of both sides is very stark. One side provides solid, regular briefing--nothing stellar, but perfectly acceptable--but it looks like Shakespeare compared to the other side. Seeing the attorneys talk in person should be an interesting experience, to say the least.

And already today I've gotten a good look at some exceptional lawyering; this morning the Judge heard an insurance fraud case. Now, it helped that the defendant (the insurance company, who was counterclaiming for the fraud) had a more or less slam-dunk case, but the lead defense attorney did a great job of presenting all the elements of her argument neatly and succinctly. There was no rambling, as I've seen before both in this case and in others; no hemming or hawing; no reading off notes. She did a great job, and it was also clear from one of the depositions she took of the plaintiff (the person who committed fraud) that she had anticipated future arguments the plaintiff would make in this very hearing. The attorney deliberately asked questions to get testimony from the plaintiff that would shut down each of those arguments. All in all, it was a super job, the best lawyering I've seen so far at the courthouse. I'll qualify that statement to point out that I haven't seen lots of lawyering yet, but that still shouldn't diminish the fact that she did a good job.

We'll see if the attorneys in my case can do half as good a job this afternoon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More pictures!

Here are some more pictures from my California trip!

First, here's a picture of me and my friend SanFranciscoDave. He generously let us stay with him while we were visiting San Francisco and showed us around his part of town. This is a picture of us on the way up to Twin Peaks to get a look at the city. Unfortunately, by the time we hiked up there, fog had rolled in and we couldn't see anything! But at least the sun was shining when we first started out. I think the flowers all around are pretty!

And here is a picture from King's Canyon National Park. We drove there from Yosemite and poked around for an afternoon.

While we were in the area, we also checked out Sequoia National Park, which more or less merges with King's Canyon. The sequoia trees there are ENORMOUS! It's amazing to think that they grow from teeny tiny little pine cones that are even smaller than regular-size pine cones. And they are supposed to be thousands of years old. In a word, they are impressive. Look carefully at this picture and you can see all the tiny little people standing around at the base of this tree, which I think is supposed to be the largest tree on earth:

After driving through Sequoia and King's Canyon, we headed down to Death Valley. That's right--we hit FOUR national parks during our one-week fly-by of California. Below is a picture of me on the way to a scenic point in Death Valley called "Golden Canyon." Basically, we got out of the car, walked about 500 yards or so, saw a sign that said, "Golden Canyon: 1.1 miles" or something like that, took this picture, and walked back to the car. We were not about to walk over 2 miles round-trip to see this Golden Canyon, no matter how wonderful it was--it was just too darn hot outside to go trekking around like that. The car's thermometer said it was 127 degrees when we were driving through. Let me tell you, that's HOT.

And here is another picture that GPG took of Death Valley, which I think does a good job of capturing just how desolate that place is:

Of course, GPG took all of the pictures you've seen on this site. He is, after all, the one with the digital camera. I took a bunch of regular film pictures and got Sam's Warehouse to put them on CDs for me, but transferring them to this site from the CDs was a bigger pain than I was willing to deal with. So GPG has been very nice in letting me use his pictures. Thanks, GPG!


Finally, I have found the time and wherewithal to post some pictures. Thanks for the help, GPG!

These are all pictures from my trip to California a month ago.

This is a picture of the California coast off Hwy 1. We drove up the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the first leg of our trip.

On the way up to San Francisco, we drove through Menlo Park, where I wanted to get a picture with this statue, which crouched outside a restaurant.

And just outside San Francisco, we visited my A-Ma in Dublin, a teeny tiny suburb on the fringes of the Bay Area. This is us in the Japanese restaurant where we had lunch during our visit. Doesn't she look great?

And here is a picture from Yosemite. We hiked all the way up to the top of this waterfall! (And back down, which was much harder than hiking up.) It was beautiful.

I'll try to post some more pictures in the week and a half before I go back to school and leave GPG and his lovely digital camera!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Two weeks and counting

School will officially start in two weeks. Eh; I'm not too enthused about it just yet. There is too much judicial internship in the way, and too many logistical problems involved with hauling all my stuff back to school and getting back in "school" mode, that I can't get very excited about having to shift gears pretty soon. For me, and the lifestyle I choose to lead at school, there is a lot more to being a law student than just the studying, which is already enough to think about. At the very least, I have to budget my money, plan out a week's worth of meals every week, and block out appropriate times to cook, run, study, and visit GPG and the Chairwoman. That doesn't sound like much, but it's a big difference from having (more or less) lots of free time, a paycheck (at least for part of the summer), a firm buying you lunches and dinners (again, at least for part of the summer), and GPG and the Chairwoman within easy shouting distance, rather than 3 hours away.

At least today I got a new opinion to work on from Clerk the First, so things have picked up a bit at work. I'll have worked on 3 opinions during my time with the Judge. Not bad.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Pictures vs. Harry Potter. Winner? Harry Potter.

Yeah, so, posting pictures over the weekend? Didn't happen so much. Instead, I read the entire new Harry Potter book in the bookstore. Yes, that's right: in the bookstore. Unwilling to buy the hardcover book, even at 30% off, I went to Borders on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon and sat down in the children's section to read the whole thing. While knitting.

It was a good book. I think it was much better written than the last one, where Harry is a little too angry, a little too abruptly, to be really believable for me. Maybe I'm too old to relate to 15-year-old Harry, but I thought he whined too much in the 5th book. But the new one was much better, although I already suspected who was going to die at the end, and how, by probably the 6th chapter or so. I was a little disappointed to find out that my suspicions were right, because I really liked the character who dies. It was sad to read about it; I was tearing up in the bookstore.

Anyway, I also saw the Chairwoman over the weekend and spent most of Saturday afternoon with her. I made 23 ba zhang (bamboo-wrapped tetrahedral-shaped packets of sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, meat, and hard-boiled brown egg) to take to school with me in 2 weeks. It's hard to believe I have to start school again so soon. On the one hand, it'll be nice not to have to wear a suit every day anymore. On the other hand, I don't know if I'm really ready to start using my brain intensively again.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cafe Lili

Yesterday I had dinner with a bunch of friends at a restaurant I had never tried before: Cafe Lili, on Westheimer between Chimney Rock and Fountainview. Unlike good food bloggers, I have no pictures to post with my comments. Even worse, I didn't even have a digital camera with me to take pictures, so I won't even be able to post pictures after the fact. That's life without a digital camera.

But, the food was terrific and I would recommend it to anyone who is near enough to the restaurant to try it. Cafe Lili is a Lebanese restaurant and their main theme is "FRESH." And it was indeed fresh! I had their fish special (I think it was redfish) and it was super. (Redfish, despite its name, has white flesh.) They gave me a whole fish, not just a filet, with the bones gone and the skin taken off one side. It was seasoned with something really yummy and the fish just flaked off the skin. Wow! Plus, the dish came with a huuuuge salad of lettuce tossed with a tasty oil-based dressing and some kind of feta cheese/tomato mixture on top. It was all definitely fresh and very delicious.

The only caveat I would toss out concerns the dessert I had. I like rice pudding, so I ordered Cafe Lili's for dessert. However, I wasn't too big a fan of their rice pudding because I think it was flavored with rose water or something similarly perfume-y. It was unusual, and not unpleasant, but it was not what I was expecting. I wanted something sweet, flavored with vanilla--something like the Istanbul Grill's vanilla pudding. Instead, I got something that tasted . . . well, a little like perfume. So I wasn't too thrilled with the dessert.

Plus, a number of people ordered the rice pudding and the various orders came out with different consistencies of pudding. Some were creamier, and some were thicker. The creamier ones were better . . . but still perfume-y. So if you like rice pudding, you might not want to try your hand with Cafe Lili's because 1) it's perfume-y and 2) you may not get the best batch in the world.

Otherwise, though, the food was great and very reasonably priced. Since it was a large party, people ordered appetizers and wine and what not, but you could go and eat just a really good entree (with the accompanying salad) for $9-16. (I think the fish special was $15 and I would have been happy eating just that).

Anyway, it's the weekend now! (Or practically.) Have a good one!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How do you say "Chairman" in Japanese?

"Chairman san."

It sounds like the Chairman is starting to get settled in over there in Japan. That's great!

Over here, your Seedless Grape has been nothing but a bundle of trouble. First, as you know, yesterday I forgot my work shoes at home. Then, on my way home from work, I forgot my wallet on my desk at the office. That meant no bus pass (although the bus driver let me on because he knows I'm a regular, thank goodness and bless him to high heaven) and no driver's license. Which meant that I had to bring my passport to the courthouse this morning because I have to show government-issued ID to get in through security! What a headache. And I missed the bus this morning, so GPG had to take me to work. Again. Arg!

But, the Internet finally got fixed at GPG's, so over the weekend I should be able to put up some pictures from my California trip.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I look like a lunchtime power walker.

I am such a idiot. I was in such a hurry to get out of the house this morning to catch the bus that I forgot . . .

. . . my shoes.

That's not really quite as retarded as it sounds. I hurt the ball of my foot a few weeks back, so I've been wearing flat shoes as much as possible ever since. Now that the judge is back and I have to wear a suit to work every day again, I have been wearing my running shoes to work and then changing into heels when I get into my office. (I even wear the running shoes at work and only change into the heels if I have to go somewhere "official" during the day.)

Well, today I put on the running shoes, but I forgot the heels at home in my rush to catch the bus. I remembered everything else: toothbrush and toothpaste, since I didn't have time to brush my teeth at home; fork to eat leftovers that I left in the fridge at work; knitting plus pattern book; peach plus knife to cut it for a snack this afternoon. But of course I forget what is arguably the most important thing of all.

I guess I could always go trot a few laps in the downtown tunnels during lunch.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Can I have some caffeine, please?

I voluntarily gave up drinking coffee over the summer, sort of as a "detox" program. During finals last semester, I found that my usual cup-and-a-half or so of coffee was not doing the same for me as it usually did. In interests of not becoming a coffee fiend who drinks gallons of coffee a day and spends half her paycheck at Starbucks, I decided to (try to) get by without coffee for the entire summer.

And, for the most part, I did it. Whenever I got taken to Starbucks by Big Firm attorneys, I had either tea (early on) or hot chocolate (later on). Only once I got a cappuccino, and that was my only lapse (I think). A couple of times I got decaf to go with dessert at dinner, but that doesn't really count in my book.

But . . . when you stay up until midnight watching The Incredibles, and you are already running very short on sleep from the weekend for a variety of reasons that I won't go into here . . . you gotta give in. It's unavoidable. I'm already feeling the drag of zero energy right now, and I still have half a workday left.

Starbucks sounds its siren call, and I heed it.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Judge is IN

Sorry for the weekend hiatus. The Internet is on the fritz in GPG's apartment, so there was no posting over the weekend. It's amazing how inconvenient life has become without the Internet! For example, there was a birthday party on Friday for one of the people I used to work with. The party organizer sent out invitations through Evite that had the date, time, and location. Because I'm so used to having the Internet at home, I didn't think to write down the time and place and directions on how to get there. Usually I can just look that kind of thing up in a flash. But I was in a bind on Friday because I didn't know where to go or when to get there. I ended up getting the info from another guest and showed up over an hour late!

Same thing happened when GPG and I wanted to go see March of the Penguins. Usually, we'd look up the showtimes on the Internet and just drive over to the movie theater at the appropriate time. But yesterday, we had to drive by the movie theater to check in person!

March of the Penguins was all right. It was a nice enough film with great cinematography, but I was a little disappointed by the "documentary" aspect of it. I thought it wasn't informative or educational enough. I had all kinds of questions afterwards about the penguin reproductive process--how many eggs survive into chicks, how many chicks make it back to mate when they're grown, what the rate of attrition is on the penguin's march to the mating grounds, etc. The film didn't answer of any of these. It was really more just a narrative of "this is what penguins have to do to reproduce in such a harsh environment." Which was a fine enough movie, with lots of impressive footage and cute penguin chicks, but I was hoping to learn a lot more from it. I guess my expectations were too high for something released in a mainstream market by Warner Brothers.

Anyway, the Judge is IN today, finally, after 3 weeks, so the pace should pick up at work. I hope I get to see some interesting stuff!

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Chairman has landed

I got a call from the Chairwoman (actually, several) and it sounds like she and the Chairman are safe and sound in Japan. They have even moved into their apartment, and it sounds like it's a pretty nice place. I hope they're having fun over there!

In other news, BF1/BF2 lost yesterday to SBF. It was a pity. We were ahead at the half, but then in the second half they pulled ahead and we couldn't catch up in time. Sigh. I don't mind so care so much about losing, per se, except that in this particular circumstance, it means that there is no more flag football this summer. And that is the major bummer.

I also finished up the socks, but no pictures yet. I cast on for a new pair of gloves--or, to be more accurate, "glittens." I'm hoping to modify the pattern to have fingerless gloves that convert into a mitten. The gloves-as-mittens will help keep my hands warm while I'm waiting for the bus in the fall and winter, but then I can also turn them into fingerless gloves and knit on the bus!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Get your game face on

This summer I am playing on the team usually known as Big Firm 1/Big Firm 2 in the Houston Young Lawyers' Association (HYLA) flag football league. Tonight we're playing Slightly Smaller Big Firm in the second round of the playoffs. (Because BF1/BF2 was seeded first, we got a bye for the first round, which is also taking place tonight.) Apparently there have been various machinations regarding the rankings of the teams in the league and the way the playoff brackets have been set up, so we really shouldn't be playing SSBF at all. And I rather wish we weren't, because we just played them last week, so they know all our plays. But, oh well . . . we've just got to go out and win, regardless! Gooooo BF1/BF2!!!

In other news, I am almost done with a pair of socks I have been knitting in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway = Seaside. All I have left is to graft the toe of the second sock with Kitchener Stitch. I'll try to post pictures once I'm done and grab a hold of a digital camera. Perhaps I shouldn't post pictures, because they're really supposed to be a Christmas gift for a friend of mine, but . . . she doesn't know about this blog yet. I guess a wee picture won't spoil things.

Turning to the subject of the previous post, I hope that the Chairman and Chairwoman both got to Japan safely. Both of their planes were delayed! I am not sure why the Chairwoman's flight from Taiwan was delayed, but the Chairman called me from Detroit and he said that he'd been sitting in the plane for two hours. The plane had gotten in line to take off, but then it had to return to the gate because someone sitting right in front of the Chairman started causing a ruckus. They had airport security take the man off the airplane with his daughter! And then, since the delay with the rowdy guy had taken such a long time, the plane had to refuel a bit. Of course, while they were refueling, they discovered technical difficulties.

What a headache. I hope that they both got there safe and sound. Presumably I'll hear from them when they get a hold of a phone or an Internet connection.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Chairman has left the building

The Chairman left for Japan today. He'll meet the Chairwoman there, and in a few days he will start a new job in Kyoto. It's pretty exciting/scary stuff, moving to an entirely new country where you don't know the language. I've started this blog in the hopes that he and other friends and family will be able to find out what I'm up to more easily.

Good luck over there, Chairman! I'm proud of you for taking such a big step in your life journey! You will have lots of new stories to tell after you come back from Japan in a few years, and I am looking forward to hearing all of them.